Arts and Entertainment David Neilson and Julie Hesmondhalgh in Monday's episode

Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh was only meant to work on Coronation Street for two months. Her character was intended as little more than a gimmick to help the Manchester-based soap opera compete in the ratings battle with then-dominant EastEnders. Fifteen years later, her character’s story has finally come to a close, and with it, one of soap’s most enduring and touching romances: that of oddball Roy and his kind-hearted wife, Hayley.

Leading article: Prize fighters

One of Alastair Campbell's most celebrated – and sensible – pieces of advice to Tony Blair was that "we don't do God". The perils of "doing God" were on full display yesterday, after the announcement that Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, former President of the Royal Society and Master of Trinity College Cambridge, was this year's winner of the Templeton Prize. This award – which was once for "progress in religion", but has since broadened its remit – routinely raises passions, a phenomenon probably not unrelated to its £1m value. Even so, this year's outpouring of vitriol was unusual.

US court blocks atheist 'God' case

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an atheist's latest challenge to the government's references to God.

Johann Hari: Get bishops out of our law-making

Is Nick Clegg even going to abandon his atheism, and give the forces of organised religion yet more power over us?

Business Diary: Shares set for a Superbowl surge?

Good news for those with cash on Wall Street: this year's Superbowl match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers is set to herald soaring share prices. According to market researcher Capital IQ, when the Steelers are in the big game the S&P 500 index surges by an average of 25.2 per cent for the calendar year, and by an average of 24.2 per cent when the Packers are in. Numbers like that should help mollify all those Wall Streeters crying over the demise of their beloved New York Jets.

Dare To Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh, By Bryan Niblett

How miserably we acknowledge some people. Charles Bradlaugh, pelted with insults, facing imprisonment and bankruptcy and his life shortened, ultimately defeated the Anglican hierarchy and the Conservative party at its late-Victorian nastiest. Elected Liberal MP in 1880, he took his seat in 1885. He then proved an exemplary member, adding the India Office to his enemies as he asserted the rights of the actual Indians before dying exhausted in 1891 at 57. Much of our modern mindset is Bradlaugh's creation.

The Potting Shed, Finborough Theatre, London

Greene rarity raises the spirits

My name is Peter and I'm a believer

George Carey may be telling Christians not to be ashamed, but devout Catholic Peter Stanford always worried that if he went public, he'd come across as a nutter. Now, he believes, it's time to lose his inhibitions

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Blair-Hitchens head-to-head is just another reality show

Belief and scepticism deserve better champions than these two

The Evolution of God, By Robert Wright

Richard Dawkins' atheism has provoked a series of intelligent books about religion, from Marilynne Robinson's Absence of Mind and K aren Armstrong's The Case for God to this anthropological and philosophical enquiry by Robert Wright, an agnostic.

An ungodly row: Dawkins sues his disciple

Evolutionist's charity accuses protégé of stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds

Paul Vallely: Minorities do not have a pecking order

New figures about homosexuality are irrelevant: gender, race and faith groups deserve equal treatment, large or small

Howard Jacobson: Lost and alone amid the rubble

God for the God-needing is less about explaining how we got into this world and more about how to get through it now we’re here
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor